The Problem With Generating (More) Referrals From CPAs

The Problem With Generating (More) Referrals From CPAs

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a close relationship with a CPA practice that would consistently refer new business to you?

Being fortunate enough to have worked in the past at a CPA firm, I’ve learned that about 3 out of every 10 clients will ask their tax preparer for help with their personal finances during tax season. That’s an incredible opportunity for you as a financial advisor, if you’d like those tax preparers to refer their clients to you. All we need to do is find a way to be top of mind so that we’re included in the conversations they’re having with their clients.

The problem is that every other financial advisor knows this as well, and is vying for the CPA’s attention, too. So how do you stand out from the crowd?

To get results, you have to understand the 3 biggest problems that CPAs face – that you can help solve for them. Only then will you have the necessary relationship to get them to refer their clients to you.


If you’ve taken a CPA to lunch for the purpose of earning their business and asking for referrals, you know it doesn’t work that well.

The fact is that most CPAs get solicitation calls from at least 10 Financial Advisors each year trying to do the same thing you’re trying to do. And every advisor says they give great customer service, they all have great investments, and they care deeply for their clients.

We all sound the same to CPAs. They can’t differentiate between you and the next guy (or gal), and they can’t see (and don’t really understanding) the true value that you are providing for your clients.


One of the greatest benefits I had as a tax preparer in a CPA firm was the chance to continually get pitched by advisors on why I should refer business to them.

The advisor would come in with a presentation on why they were the best person to help my clients with their investments. It usually had a lot to do with performance, and expertise in the financial planning arena. It was always very professional.

But it was also nearly impossible to connect with them, because they were missing one key factor. Me! The guy doing the taxes for that client!

CPAs see things a little differently than most advisors think.  They know investment performance and proper financial planning is important, but to them, it’s all the same exact pitch. They don’t really know how or care how one investment strategy is better than the next one. In order to be successful with CPAs, we need understand their point of view, and learn how to speak their language.


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